It seems we’re overdue for a Design Eye Training post. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do, and it brings a splash of happiness to your day! This is our seventh post in the series, and it has been a couple months since we last analyzed this gorgeous historic bathroom. Today I found an equally as impressive dining room designed by the talented team at W Design Collective. They’re actually a local Salt Lake City company that is located pretty close to our Tuesday Made office! I’m always very impressed with their neutral and layered portfolio. Click through to admire, analyze, and tour a timeless & textural dining space with me!
To quickly recap… in our Design Eye series, we observe and admire design fundamentals like scale, texture, pattern, material use, lighting plans, color, floor plan & layout, and a variety of intentional styling & interior moments pulled together by the pros. It’s an exercise I used to practice often in design school, and one I still enjoy today. By discussing and breaking down well designed spaces in greater detail, you’ll begin to train your “design eye”, build upon the design fundamentals, and can apply some of these things to your own home, if they appeal to you. I also feel like this series can really help you hone in your personal aesthetic, determining what you like and dislike… and most importantly, why. Ready to give it a try?
This dining room immediately made me think of one word: texture. It’s filled with texture galore: the wallpaper, the rug, the chairs, the seat cushions, the floral arrangements, the herringbone floor, and even the ribbed detail on the cabinetry (which you’ll notice later in this post). It’s truly a visual treat for the eyes! I really love the simplicity of this space. The neutral color palette feels warm & welcoming, but not boring.
There is also quite a bit of pattern play happening in this space, but it’s done in a subtle way… the woven design on the chairs, the pattered seat cushions, the geometric grid on the area rug, the herringbone floor pattern, and of course the ticking stripe on the wallpaper. All of these patterns work really well together because they have a nice scale difference.
The simplistic millwork really allows all of those gorgeous materials to shine. Did you notice the subtle striped wallpaper mimics the reeded cabinetry drawers? So clever! Speaking of which, that built-in is an excellent use of space in a tight dining room. That would be an ideal place to store dishes and entertaining items, while making a visually pleasing design statement. And what do you think of the vintage artwork? I think the color palette works well with the space and the super traditional subject matter is a nice contrast to the modern elements in the room- like the chandelier and dining chairs.
Despite this space being relatively neutral, I notice a lot of high contrast… the black doors, the creamy white trim, the way the wallpaper changes in the light as it nears the base, and the heavy dark furniture. I love the juxtaposition of the new furniture mixed with the antiques sprinkled throughout this space. The chest of drawers and console table in opposing corners balance the room, add character, and provide additional storage, plus more styling surfaces.
The seat cushions seem like an addition that weren’t initially purchased with the chairs, and I have to say- I’m very into them. This is an excellent idea for adding color, pattern, personality, and comfort to standard dining chairs. The styling in this room feels really nice to me… we’ve got art, antiques, florals, greenery, serveware, and even mixed metals. It’s minimal, but well done!
Switching gears… did you notice the lack of window treatments? If privacy isn’t a concern, I actually enjoy the look of bare windows that allows natural light to flood into a room. I think window treatments depend on the home, the room, and how it’s used. Personally, in this space, I would love to see long drapery panels for added drama and softness, but that’s just my preference. Can’t you just imagine light cotton or sheer treatments?
The floor plan of this space is simple… it’s a rectangular space that perfectly fits the oversized oval dining table (centered in the room), which seemingly bridges the gap between the entryway and hall. I’m assuming it’s situated at the front of the home and is setup as a formal dining room, despite the casual welcoming feel. I believe I remember seeing adequate seating in the kitchen area… click here to take the entire house tour! It’s a gorgeous home.
I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this stunning space! Are you still enjoying this series? I love the peep of the staircase behind the extra wide cased doorway from this view. It’s another great example of modern meets traditional. I would certainly enjoy having dinner or drinks in this beautiful room. It’s too bad I don’t know the homeowners- this home is located pretty close to our previous home! It’s always nice to highlight and admire the work of talented designers… even better if they’re local! Do you have any local-to-you favorites? Be sure to follow along with W Design Collective on Instagram!
Leslie WoodSeptember 1, 2021 at 7:18 am
Thank you, I really enjoy these ones. It’s a nice chance to really stop and look at why something works well together. It’s like the difference between glancing at a beautiful painting, and stopping to really see that painting and what makes it beautiful. Can you elaborate a little on using texture of a different scale together?
SarahSeptember 1, 2021 at 5:54 pm
I agree, Leslie! I’m used to quickly scrolling, so taking the time to really stop and look feels like a nice change of pace. I love your reference of glancing at a painting versus really taking the time to analyze and admire it. That’s exactly what I hoped this series would do! I’d be happy to elaborate on texture and pattern scale… when I chat about texture, I’m referring to contrasting surfaces (think linen, jute, woven materials, things you can physically touch), as well as visual compositions (like floral arrangements) that create depth. I believe that the best designed spaces contain lots of layers with different textures that visually tell a story. It’s fun to discover each layer and how they interact with each other! In terms of pairing patterns, I try to make sure the scale of each pattern has enough similarities or contrast to complement each other… the same goes for color. I usually try to push for contrast so it looks most intentional. For example, in this room- the subtle ticking stripe of the wallpaper also appears soft and is warmed toned, whereas the rug paired along side it feels totally different… a color hue and a medium grid pattern. The contrast of these two patterns work really well together. I hope that helps to clarify :)
LeslieSeptember 2, 2021 at 5:17 am
Thank you – that is very helpful. I have a hard time combining different pattern/textures, and this really helps give me direction with that. thanks again!
MarySeptember 1, 2021 at 7:34 am
This is literally my favorite series that you do. I love that it introduces me to different interior designers and the best part is hearing your insight into what exactly make these spaces so interesting! Thanks for all that you do – my favorite blog always :)
SarahSeptember 1, 2021 at 5:45 pm
You made my day, Mary! I’m so glad to hear that. I try to feature a different designer each time, and it really is nice to slow down and admire a single room. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment :) Hope you’re having a great week!
RhondaSeptember 1, 2021 at 11:16 am
Indeed it is a beautiful space. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts on why it works. I agree with Leslie above, you encourage us to stop and really consider the space. Why it works and why it is so aesthetically pleasing. I love how the art and the little side table vignettes really take up the space they inhabit. They look as though the “just fit” and I really like that. I’m not sure I like a lot of negative space! I’m falling in love with oval dining tables. My mouth dropped open at the stair balustrade. And those deep skirting boards? Oh My Word … love.
SarahSeptember 1, 2021 at 5:44 pm
I have so much fun with this series, I’m glad to hear it’s reciprocated, Rhonda! I also thought the art was really well styled- I loved the little piece on the easel. That’s a great way to display 2D art for a three dimensional look. Oval dining tables are stunning! I’ve been noticing more of those, too. So pretty!
Jennifer LauraSeptember 1, 2021 at 1:40 pm
Love this series and training my design eye, this is a beautiful room!!
SarahSeptember 1, 2021 at 5:43 pm
I love hearing that :) This is a fun series for me, too. It’s nice to slow down and focus on one room.
Julie MarquezSeptember 1, 2021 at 3:27 pm
This room is beautiful! I love the wallpaper and the warmth of everything. I agree with you that some curtains would add some drama!
SarahSeptember 1, 2021 at 5:40 pm
I also really liked this one, Julie! It definitely feels warm and inviting, which has me wishing for fall and the weather than accompanies it. I hope you had a great day! xo
LaurenSeptember 2, 2021 at 10:12 am
What grabs me with this space immediately is the symmetry of geometric/repeated shapes. Most of the patterns here have very linear roots-but repeating them symmetrically doesn’t make it feel too harsh or angular. For example, the scale of the grid patterned rug compliments and mimics the grid patterned windows; the linear weave on the back rest of the dining chairs mimics the subtle ticking stripe on the walls and the gorgeous fluted cabinetry. Every last detail in this room is scaled perfectly to mimic that perfect square- right down to the frame of the dining chairs, and the artwork. I’m a huge fan of softened lines in very linear spaces-this dining table is the showstopper for me because it showcases, in one of the best examples I’ve seen, how to do it right. I’ve long been hunting for an oval dining table that doesn’t scream 90’s oak chic, and this one is the crème de la crème. Just as the linear patterns repeat, so do the softening accents: the vessels for the floral arrangements, the shades on the chandelier…and adding the antique touches really rounds out this space. (Pun intended?)🤣 My favorite elements are the addition of the cushions on the dining chairs, and the artwork framed and placed on the easel. Such special, detailed touches! This is one to pin for sure. Thanks for practice this morning! Have a wonderful weekend, and a lovely anniversary. Xo
SarahSeptember 2, 2021 at 6:10 pm
I think that’s probably why I love it most… the balance and symmetry! I enjoyed reading all of your points, Lauren. Awesome design observations! The oval table really is well done. I was equally as impressed. I hope you have an amazing holiday weekend ahead, my friend! xo
Vicki MSeptember 2, 2021 at 3:53 pm
Love this series. Thanks for giving us “eyes”to a beautiful space.
SarahSeptember 2, 2021 at 6:02 pm
Thanks, Vicki! I’m so glad to hear it.
StevieSeptember 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm
Beautiful! Does anyone have the source for the light fixture? It’s EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!
SarahSeptember 7, 2021 at 10:43 am
I don’t, I’m sorry Stevie! I’d check with the designer and see if they offer it for sale.